Fashion Show Review: Academy of Art University 2013 Fall/Winter Show

written by Phillip D. Johnson
Runway Images by Randy Brooke and provided by Ian MacIntosh/Academy of Art University

Recently, there was, yet again, another loooooooooong article (this time in the Wall Street Journal) fretting over the futures of some of the most storied fashion houses of our time (Armani, de la Renta, Lauren, etal) and what will happen to their multi-billion dollar businesses when they (finally!) put down their sketch pads for good – either of their own accord (voluntary retirement) or on the occasion of their untimely death (something NO ONE wants to think about now or ever!). The same could be said for their compadres on the fashion publishing/editorial side (Wintour, Bailey, Wells, Meyers, Bowles, Coddington, Goodman, etal). The fact that these distinguished gentlemen and ladies are getting up there in age begs the question: Who are they grooming for the eventuality to take their place on fashion’s Mount Olympus? Are they in danger of becoming a hot mess (Bill Blass, Halston, anyone?) or a near seamless transition that respect the brand’s DNA without looking the essence of the new man/woman at the helm (Raf Simons at Dior)?

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08:  A model walks the runway at the Academy of Art University Fall 2013 Collections fashion show wearing designs fromFashion Design degree graduate Janine M. Villa and Master's Degree in Knitwear Design graduate Amanda Nervig during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on February 8, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Randy Brooke/Getty Images for Academy of Art)

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 08: A model walks the runway at the Academy of Art University Fall 2013 Collections fashion show wearing designs from Fashion Design degree graduate Janine M. Villa and Master’s Degree in Knitwear Design graduate Amanda Nervig during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on February 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/Getty Images for Academy of Art)

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TripAdvisor Unveils Travelers’ Choice Islands

Top Islands Worldwide Recognized Based on Opinions of Millions of Travelers Across the Globe

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the winners of its inaugural Travelers’ Choice Islands Awards. Based on millions of valuable traveler reviews and opinions on the site, the awards recognize more than 100 islands across the globe, including dedicated lists for Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, and the U.S. The Travelers’ Choice Islands Awards are based on the quality and quantity of the most highly-rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions listed for each island on TripAdvisor gathered during a 12-month period.

Whether you’re looking for idyllic palm-lined islands, or islands that offer a more cultural experience, you’ll find inspiration in these lists,” said Barbara Messing, Chief Marketing Officer for TripAdvisor.  “From the world famous to the hidden gems, what unifies every award winner is the fantastic feedback from travelers across the globe.” Continue reading

CEW(UK) Announces 2013 Beauty Award Finalists

This was originally posted on on March 21, 2013 (

CEW(UK) announced the finalists for the CEW(UK) 2013 Beauty Awards. Following the Product Demonstration Evening, nearly 700 members voted online for their favorite products in each of the 24 categories. The ballot was hosted by NSM Research and independently reviewed by Ernst & Young. Finalists in the CEW(UK) Eco Beauty Award category were chosen by an independent panel of experts.

And the finalists are—

Mass Categories

Best New Bath and Body Product (Mass)
Dr.Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Monoi Moisture Melt Body
Lanolips Lovely Lanolin Triple Buttermilk Body Balm
Soap and Glory Sit Tight XS

Best New Haircare/Styling/Coloring Product (Mass)
Aussie Miracle Shine
Color Wow Root Cover Up
Dr. Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Treatment Serum

Best New Everyday Facial Skincare Product (Mass)
Dr Nick Lowe The Secret Is Out Lift & Repair Night Cream
Eau Thermale Avène Micellar Lotion
Good Things Total Wipe-Out Cleansing Wipes

Best New Skincare Treatment Product (Mass)
Carmex Moisture Plus Berry
Dr Nick Lowe Dual Action Deep Wrinkle Filler
Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask
RapidBrow Eyebrow Enhancing Serum

Best New Makeup Product, Face (Mass)
Max Factor All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation
Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer
Wild About Beauty Mattifying Balm

Best New Makeup Product, Eyes or Lips (Mass)
Bourjois Queen Attitude Khol Kajal
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter
Rimmel London ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Liners

Best Classic Beauty Product (Mass)
Batiste Dry Shampoo Tropical
Bourjois Little Round Pot Blush

Best New Brand (Mass)
Color Wow
Manuka Doctor
Super Facialist by Una Brennan

Prestige Categories

Best New Bath and Body Product (Prestige)
Caudalie Divine Oil
Emma Hardie Natural Lift and Sculpt Body Butter
L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

Best New Haircare/Styling/Coloring Product (Prestige)
Percy & Reed Lovingly Light Foaming Treatment Mask
Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence
Phyto Subtil Elixir

Best New Everyday Facial Skincare Product (Prestige)
Estée Lauder Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Crème Daywear B.B
Clarins Extra Firming Day Cream
Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant +

Best New Skincare Treatment Product (Prestige)
Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector
Eve Lom Moisture Mask
La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift

Best New Makeup Product, Face (Prestige)
Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional
Dolce&Gabbana Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation

Best New Makeup Product, Eyes or Lips (Prestige)
BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Duo
Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real!
Urban Decay Naked2

Best Classic Beauty Product (Prestige)
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
Eve Lom Cleanser
Liz Earle Beauty Co. Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Best New Women’s Fragrance (Prestige)
Boss Nuit Pour Femme
Elie Saab Le Parfum Eau de Toilette
Marc Jacobs Dot EDP

Best New Men’s Fragrance (Prestige)
Dolce&Gabbana The One Sport
Lalique Hommage a l’Homme
Mont Blanc Legend Eau de Toilette

Best New Brand (Prestige)
CK One Color Cosmetics
Elie Saab Parfums
Percy & Reed

Mass or Prestige Categories

Best New Certified Organic Skincare Product (Mass or Prestige)
Dr.Organic Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Liquid Gold 100% Pure Oil
Neal’s Yard Remedies Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Oil
Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion

Best New Self Tan or Sun Care Product (Mass or Prestige)
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Triple Defense SPF 50
Fake Bake 60 Minutes Self-Tan Liquid
St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse

Best New Hand, Foot and Nail Care Product (Mass or Prestige)
Balance Me Rose Otto Hand Cream
Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover
Yes! Nurse Protect Your Lovely Hands

Best British Brand (Mass or Prestige)
Balance Me
Nails Inc

Best New Celebrity Fragrance (Mass or Prestige)
Beckham The Essence
Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum
Lady Gaga Fame

Best New Men’s Grooming Product (Mass or Prestige)
Biotherm Force Supreme Youth Architect Serum
ClarinsMen Exfoliating Cleanser
Crabtree & Evelyn West Indian Lime Shave Cream

The Eco Beauty Award (sponsored by Givaudan)
Essential Care Makeup Range
Intelligent Nutrients Haircare Range
Melvita Rose Nectar Range
Weleda Wild Rose Range

The CEW(UK) Beauty Awards Winners Announcement Lunch is set for Friday, April 26, 2013.


gDiapers introduces Global Love gPants

Just in Time to Honor Earth Day

Loving the earth starts with the simplest of actions: changing diapers. And so, for this upcoming Earth Day, gDiapers will release Global Love gPants, a soft vanilla diaper cover artistically designed with “fill the world with love” in blues and greens, colors reminiscent of our planet.

gDiapers introduces Global Love gPants.  (PRNewsFoto/gDiapers)

gDiapers introduces Global Love gPants. (PRNewsFoto/gDiapers)

Kim and Jason Graham-Nye founded gDiapers in 2005. They had a baby on the way and a diaper decision to make. They found out some staggering, and literally earth-shattering news about conventional disposable diapers:

—  20 billion diapers get thrown in the landfill every year in the US. They are the third largest contributor to landfills.

—  It takes up to 500 years for disposable diapers to biodegrade.

    —  90% of Americans use disposable diapers.

Today, gDiapers offers a colorful line of adorable diaper covers with 100% biodegradable* disposable inserts.  gDiapers are  as gentle on the earth as it is on babies and parents are encouraged to break the habit of putting dirty diapers into the landfill and instead, are given healthier options for disposal: flushing, to put waste where waste belongs; or home-composting the wet ones, to turn diapers into a backyard resource; or even the washable route with the option of cloth inserts. It’s no longer the same old cloth vs. disposables diaper debate.

The limited edition Global Love gPants will be available on and select retailers on March 27, 2013, just in time for Earth Day. Price $21.99

*gDiapers disposable inserts are biodegradable in home composts per ASTM standards by a third party independent lab (wet ones only). Nothing truly biodegrades in a landfill. So gDiapers gives you options for disposal. Flush, compost or toss. The choice is yours.

PANDORA Gives Women the Royal Treatment

The crown jewels are no longer reserved for monarchs, as PANDORA unveils a series of affordable luxury pieces inspired by royalty.

PANDORA Gives Women the Royal Treatment.  (PRNewsFoto/PANDORA Jewelry)

PANDORA Gives Women the Royal Treatment. (PRNewsFoto/PANDORA Jewelry)

PANDORA has transformed its popular crown charm into a statement pendant fit for a queen. The oversized necklace pendant is crafted from sterling silver and set with 48 clear cubic zirconia stones. The elegant, hand-finished pendant now coordinates beautifully with this season’s new sterling silver royal crown stud earrings and two new stackable sterling silver rings, which each feature 10 bezel-set cubic zirconia stones. The newest pieces are a perfect complement to the existing sterling silver or 14k gold and diamond crown charms from PANDORA’s existing assortment of charms.

Evoking memories of a fairytale princess, PANDORA‘s new tiara pieces unite contemporary craftsmanship with a romantic and feminine design. Princess-style earrings showcase the beauty of rose-hued freshwater cultured pearls set beneath sterling silver tiaras. A coordinating tiara charm, ring and delicate stud earrings add a regal touch to any occasion.

“This season’s spring collection brings to life a world of romance, elegance and grace,” said Angel Ilagan, Vice President, Marketing, PANDORA North America. “Every woman deserves to feel like a queen or princess, and the new royalty inspired pieces allow them to do so.

To view the new pieces or locate an authorized PANDORA retailer, visit

In Celebration Of His 80th Birthday, Willie Nelson Honored As Legacy Recordings’ Artist Of The Month For April 2013


As America prepares to commemorate the 80th birthday of Willie Nelson on April 29th, the country music icon will be celebrated as Artist of the Month for April, 2013 by Legacy Recordings, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.  The celebration carries on all month, and includes the April 16th release of a new album, Let’s Face The Music And Dance, on Legacy Recordings.

Let’s Face The Music And Dance is comprised of 20th century pop, rock, jazz and country music classics and standards.  It was recorded by Willie and The Family, the band that Willie started with his sister Bobbie Nelson in 1973, and that has been his touring and recording group for forty years.  On April 28th, Willie and The Family will play a special “birthday” concert at the Back Yard in Austin, Texas.

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

Legacy’s Artist of the Month program was launched at the start of this year, commem­or­ating Janis Joplin in January, Nina Simone in February, and Sly and the Family Stone in March.

In every case, the Artist of the Month program provides fresh perspectives on musical legends whose sounds continue to affect people’s lives and enables new fans and deep aficionados the opportunity to focus on an essential figure in pop music history, whose principal catalog is a cornerstone of the Sony Music archives.

For the truly multi-dimensional Willie Nelson – singer, songwriter, Gypsy jazz guitarist, producer, bandleader, family man, perennial touring musician, television and movie actor, entrepreneur, activist, philanthropist, founder of FarmAid, rancher, golfer, proud Texan, and godfather of music’s Outlaw Country movement – it has really been One Hell Of A Ride, as suggested by the title of his 4-CD Legacy box set of 2008, the year of his 75th birthday. Continue reading

The Early Spring 2013 FashionPlusLifestyle Beauty, Health and Hair Report

by Phillip D. Johnson

Unite Today. Great Hair Tomorrow
Who doesn’t look great in a set of Pearls? This chic luxury can now be found in your hair care products with UNITE Hair U LUXURY Shampoo and Conditioner. Infused with Crushed Pearl, Hawaiian White Honey and other decadent ingredients, this duo ensures that every strand becomes more lustrous than before.

U LUXURY Shampoo ($34.95) is a luscious blend of hydrating, protective Crushed Pearl, fortifying Hawaiian White Honey, softening Pure Argan Oil and gentle, Coconut-derived cleansers. This sulfate and paraben-free shampoo provides a creamy lather that doesn’t strip hair of moisture or cause buildup. Developed with Panthenol, a botanical extract rich in Vitamin B, it adds extra shine and weightless volume to hair, while strengthening and invigorating each and every strand.

UNITE Hair U LUXURY Shampoo and Conditioner

UNITE Hair U LUXURY Shampoo and Conditioner

The corresponding U LUXURY Conditioner ($38.95) is a rich, creamy conditioner featuring a potent fusuion of Crushed Pearl, Hawaiian White Honey and Pure Argan Oil, in addition to deeply nourishing Shea Butter, and Apple, Orange, Lemon and Sugar Cane extracts, which seal the hair cuticle to lock in moisture. Hair is left looking fuller and shinier and feeling softer and smoother. How to use: Apply from roots to ends. Leave in for 1-3 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

For the most part, going blonde is easy. The trick, as every woman knows by now, is have healthy blonde hair for an extended period of time (between each treatment). To help guarantee fun in the sun without the drying, damaging effects of high temperatures and chlorine on your hair, try UNITE Hair BLONDA Shampoo and Conditioner.

BLONDA Shampoo ($26.25) is a shine-enhancing toning shampoo formulated to keep blonde hair brilliant and healthy. The reparative formula is ideal for highlighted hair or high-lift blondes, and eliminates the brassy coloring in non-pigmented hair by infusing strands with violet-based ones. BLONDA Shampoo can even be used on naturally gray hair to remove the yellow tone. How to use: Use one to two times per week. Leave in for no more than 60 seconds.

Unite Blonda Shampoo & Conditioner

Unite Blonda Shampoo & Conditioner

An intensely moisturizing formula, BLONDA Conditioner ($27.95) is designed to neutralize (and tame) brassy tones, conditioning hair while preserving the vibrant blonde color. Developed with ultra-nourishing Cocos Nucifera Oil and hydrating Glycerin, which acts as a humectant to seal in moisture, BLONDA Conditioner turns straw-like, yellow, brittle hair a thing of the past. How to use: After rinsing out BLONDA Shampoo, apply BLONDA Conditioner from roots to ends. Leave in for 1-3 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

UNITE Hair products can be found on Continue reading